Updated: 4/25/2013 7:30 P.M.
The transformation of Parkersburg High School's Stadium Field seats is a step closer.
Crews Thursday began cutting into the seats which will be demolished and replaced this summer.
PHS Athletic Director Lori Lowers tells us the actual demolition is expected to begin next week.
School officials were told last fall about the deterioration of the seats.
A Marietta firm was chosen last week to handle the demolition project.
Updated: 4/17/2013 5:50 P.M.
A special board of education meeting Friday is the only thing standing in the way of demolition of the bleachers at Parkersburg High School's Stadium Field.
The nearly $217,000 project will, at first, involve demolition of the existing bleachers, which were found late last year to be deteriorating, resulting in the closing of Stadium Field. the removal of those bleachers will last through the month of May.
"We have told the contractors they will have access to the stadium, and will have areas that are controlled," says Project Architect Ryan Taylor of Pickering and Associates, "and no kids or the public will be allowed for safety."
A Marietta firm has been reccommended for the demolition, which involves the removal of one million pounds of concrete. That phase is expected to be completed by the end of May, depending on the weather. Then begins the replacement of the bleachers, which Taylor says involves the installation of 300 individual pieces. Bids for that project are to be opened at the end of April.
"Once that is awarded, on May 14th," Taylor says, "we can begin installing concrete on top of all of the girders and columns, and it will start looking like a stadium again. And that will happen in June and July. The goal is very fast-paced. They have expectations for the stadium to be back in operation by the start of football season in late August."
The board's special meeting is to begin Friday night at 6:30.
UPDATE: 4/9/2013 10:13 PM
Pickering Associates is handling the project at Parkersburg High's Stadium Field.
There's been a lot of interest in the project, including 17 contractors and 5 demolition companies.
Now it's about hammering out the details in order to award a bid.
Around May 31st, the stadium will be a skeleton of what it is now.
"This is a total rehab of the facility. So what you would see is the only thing left there would be the perimeter walls and the concrete columns and girders. Everything else will be taken out. So we're starting from new. We're doing a complete structural repair of this facility," says Pickering Associates Ryan Taylor.
The Board of Education is expected to award a demolition bid on April 16th. Two other bid packages for precast and general construction will be awarded May 14th.
UPDATED: 2/28/13 at 10:12 a.m.
The Wood County Board of Education gave the green light to Stadium Field at Tuesday's meeting, earmarking $700,000 for renovations with the goal to open this fall.
It was an overwhelming decision for students, coaches, faculty and Parkersburg High School as a whole.
"I think it blindsided us when it was condemned and I think it was the right thing for the board of education to step up and say they will assist us in funding the renovation of the field," says Joe Carrico,
with the PHS Stadium Committee.
Not everyone agrees.
"I'm not satisfied that we were treated fairly," says Rick Bush, president of the Parkersburg South Erickson All-Sports Facility Committee. "I think we should have left there last night with $100,000 to fix our track."
Bush says it isn't the end of the world, but he's very disappointed with the board's decision.
"That's my first reaction, that's a selfish reaction," he says. "I'm also very happy that they saw fit to get some money to Stadium Field. We don't want to do without Stadium Field, even for a season, if it can be helped."
Who should maintain a stadium when it's built? Bush says he thinks it falls on the school board and the administration.
Those who spoke Tuesday included PHS football player Chandler Hamilton, whose impassioned appeal of growing up with the stadium was lost on no one.
"It's everything," Hamilton says. "If we're gonna play there, we're gonna to have to put the work in."
Wood County Board of Education Approved Parkersburg High School Stadium Committee's request for funding on repairing Stadium Field. PHS will receive $700,000 to get the project rolling.
Students, coaches, faculty and the community of Parkersburg High School got the decision they hoped for at the Wood County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
A happy group of athletes cheered after the board of education approved the stadium committee's request for funding.
The board unanimously approved $700,000 to get the project rolling but there's more to it. The total cost is $1.3 million.
"We'll be into a huge fundraising campaign to raise the rest of the money. We'll have to do this in a two phase project, we'll do the press box side hopefully, we'll start that in the next six weeks and have that done by the end of August," said PHS Stadium Committee Member, Joe Carico.
The stadium committee says they're also are planning on repairing the visitors side of the field sometime next year.